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Gter ma

(5,329 words)

Author(s): Janet Gyatso
The Tibetan category of gter ma (“treasure”) refers to sacred scriptures and ritual objects that are discovered through a visionary process leading to these objects’ extraction from the ground, or, in more recent times, memory. By virtue of being concealed and then found, these items are like buried treasure, hence the moniker. Throughout its history, the gter ma mode of transmission provided an authoritative venue for Tibetan authors to write poetic and inspired ritual manuals, doctrinal treatises, and histories of religion, facilitating innovation a…